What we have seen in the last few days on social media has been chilling. The most shocking realization (at least for me) has not been that Big Tech has so obviously been colluding with the Democrat party over the last four years in preparation for this very moment. What is most shocking is that so many of our friends, family and loved ones see the silencing of half the country as perfectly justified.
“Kira, you’re being hysterical. Only those who promoted rioting and violence are being deplatformed.”
Oh, sweet, naive friend. In liberal-land only those who “deserve” punishment are the ones getting it. Because the “good guys” would never unjustly paint an entire swath of people with one big paintbrush.
If you’re reading this and you trust me as a friend and someone who is reasonably intelligent, I pray you will believe me when I tell you this is not at all how it works. I have made my name in this business on being a reasonable and logical voice for unity. I get salty from time to time (I am a woman, after all) but anyone who knows me and enjoys my podcast Just Listen To Yourself knows that I am constantly calling for treating others who think or vote differently than us with grace. I believe critical thinking skills can help us feel confident in our arguments (left or right) and that confidence makes it easier to see those “others” not as enemies but as neighbors.
When we grasp the concept of tolerance we can actually foster healthy and sometimes even productive arguments with each other. The only time I’ve mentioned violence is to condemn it.
What I’m saying is – I’m hardly controversial.
And yet, my public pages are being shadow-banned. It took me 10 years to amass a mere 55K followers on Twitter as a “blue check” account and in just three days I lost over 5000. This is not happening to liberal blue checks. Jake Tapper smarmily suggested today that the conservatives complaining about losing followers are childish. That was disingenuous at best, willfully ignorant at worst. Tapper knows that the follower count isn’t about popularity, it is about reach. When your reach is squashed your message is squashed. His snobbery is noted.
Trump has been deplatformed even as he is still the sitting President. Rand Paul and Ron Paul have both been locked out of their Facebook pages, even thought they’ve only called for unity and reason. Neither has posted even a whisper of supporting violence. In fact, they’ve only condemned it. And yet they have been muzzled.
Conservative sites are scrambling to figure out how to appease the algorithms and the Big Tech bosses while still serving their audiences.
Side note: We ask that you bear with us while we work through this. We have not abandoned our commitment to telling the truth, but we are also aware that if we don’t survive the opening days of this injustice we will not be here to advocate for you in the future. We’re trying to work it out and we will, I promise. Bear with us.
And of course there’s Parler. These are terrifying times that have many conservatives shouting about the death of free speech.
I have never in my entire career faced this type of censorship and indeed it is terrifying. If two or three companies can cut you off from your entire base, what else can they do? If they’re doing it to me, how long before they do it to one of my friends who think it’s fine as long as it’s just those “right wing nut jobs”? It seems naive to believe this won’t eventually bite every single American in the ass.
I disagree with some of my fellow conservatives that free speech is dead, but it is most certainly on life support.
I’ve been saying very partisan things on Twitter the past few days and while my reach has been shadow banned and suppressed, I have not been suspended. I’m still allowed to say I think the Democrat party sucks. Many conservatives are still around the platform for now.
Locals. Other places like Odyssey for video content are partisan-free and censorship free. We’re not going to replace Google’s massive reach overnight, but alternatives to Twitter and Facebook will continue to pop up and those seeking a place to express themselves freely will flock. The free market is still an incredibly powerful force, even as certain dark elements of our society keep trying to put zip ties around its hands.
As more and more people are trapped under the weight of Big Tech overreach, more and more alternatives will pop up. The server issue is a larger one but we put a man on the moon and remain the only nation on earth to do so. We have the minds within this nation right now to solve the problem of a receding internet.
And despite the mess of this past election we still have our votes. It is terribly naive of the left to forget that 75 million people voted for Trump. Many say, “well, 81 million voted for Biden” as if that means anything for the future. When Obama was president the left made the egregious error of believing half the country was crushed forever. That’s how we got Trump.
The next guy wont be nearly as warm and fuzzy as Trump if we allow this attitude to fester. 75 million people aren’t rioters or weirdos. Nearly all of Trump voters are simply normal Americans. It would be a terribly grave error to suppose they will never have a significant say again. They will. 2016 was a lesson that the left is trying not to repeat by simply censoring the right out of existence, but they cannot see that they are just recreating the situation. They haven’t learned a thing.
We still have this Constitution for those willing to wield it. Trump was furiously appointing federal judges over the last four years and those people will be deciding the very important free speech lawsuits that are about to begin overwhelming our justice system.
No, free speech is not dead, but if we walk away from it now it will be quite soon. It needs resuscitating and the life-saving efforts may take a while to kick in, but they will kick in. If we can tolerate the tumult that is about to befall us, we can revive it.
But it will take all of us. It will take grace (I realize some of you may be in short supply of that these days and I know I’ve had to check myself a few times this week). It will take a bit of extra legwork to reconnect in other spaces. It will take a lifestyle change in some cases. It will take teamwork, but Americans have always responded to roadblocks by beating a new path.
The path to free speech has veered. It’s time to beat a new one.